Frank Foo’s Feng Shui Practice is a True Balancing Act

Shoreview resident Frank Foo is teaching people how to transform their homes with feng shui

Photos by Wing Ho  

Feng shui expert Frank Foo poses with a Chinese compass in his colorful, eclectic abode.

Nowadays, when discussing a new restaurant, location, or even a new friend, you’ll often hear a certain phrase included if the review is positive: “The vibes were good.”

The same can be said for Frank Foo and his colorfully curated Shoreview home. Anyone who has visited will likely tell you the same thing—that the vibes in his home are good. After all, maximalist decor and striking wall art make bold, fun statements everywhere you look. What you might not know, however, is that each piece has been carefully placed, and each space thoughtfully organized, to ensure maximum harmony—largely thanks to Foo’s extensive knowledge and practice of feng shui. “Feng shui is the study of landforms, such as where the mountains are and where water like lakes and rivers can be found, and how their placement can energetically affect our homes,” explains Foo, who grew up in Malaysia and moved to Minnesota in the early 2000s. “All of these can help create a harmonious and prosperous home.”

Foo, who radiates a sense of calm and peace himself, recently launched his own personal Instagram account, @thefrankfoo, in mid-December of last year. Three months and 70-something videos later, he has amassed over 400,000 followers. “I didn’t expect it at all,” he says about his account’s popularity. “I just wanted to share the subject and my knowledge. I didn’t think about it too much.”

Featuring snappy titles such as “Avoid doing this with your mirrors” and “How to collect wealth energy,” Foo’s videos are kept short, sweet, and to the point.He also makes a conscious effort to interact with his followers, answering questions that range from how to balance the negative energy associated with living near a cemetery to if displaying crystals is OK. (The answer is yes, according to Foo, since they don’t qualify as “sharp objects.”)

“Everyone, no matter their background, culture, or home, can learn and apply the principles of feng shui,” assures Foo, who credits his account’s success to a straightforward, easy-to-apply, and widely accessible approach. “It can seem very complicated or confusing if you’re new to it, so what I’m trying to do is make it as simple as possible to understand so more people can enjoy the difference it can make in your home and life.”

Foo credits the start of his own journey with feng shui to meeting his wife Gladys Tay, a Singapore native, fashionista, and fellow energy enthusiast and social media expert (@thegladystay). “She’s a big influence on me in these subjects,” says Foo. “She’s an empath, so she can feel and read the energy of a person, object, or place. When we were looking for a new home, she used our birth dates and times to help find which house and location would be suitable for us.”

The lower level teems with more fun decor, including Ron—a mustache-wearing wooden man propped on a blue buffet table.

The couple’s 1,800-square-foot split-level home, built in 1982 and lovingly remodeled room-by-room by Foo and Tay themselves, features a mix of modern and traditional furnishings that reflects their personal style, which Foo describes as “eclectic, fun, and colorful.” Their unique decor seamlessly blends styles and transcends eras, creating a memorable interior aesthetic that’s “as if New York and Europe had a baby,” he says, chuckling.

As for the future, Foo plans on continuing to create more of the feng shui-focused videos he has quickly become known for, while also beginning to inject more in-depth information for those fans and followers who are clamoring for more. “I’ll slowly evolve it. With social media nowadays, people like their content fast and short. I can’t do videos longer than 10 seconds because no one will watch!” he says, laughing. Although, based on Foo’s following that grows by the day, it seems his audience would certainly beg to differ.

What do you value most in design?

I value the artistic aspect of design. I just like interiors that have art or sculptures! A few well-placed pieces can add interest and personality to an empty space and truly transform minimalism.

What are some of the main principles of feng shui?

There are five elements needed in order to create a harmonious environment: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Each possesses unique energies. In home feng shui, certain spaces are naturally represented by these elements. For example, the kitchen is considered fire. The bedroom, earth. Bathroom, water. Living and dining rooms, metal. Study or office, wood. If some elements are too strong in a space, you’ll want to neutralize or tone them down. In feng shui, it’s all about balance.

What is the most common misconception surrounding feng shui?

That it has something to do with religion. It’s completed using metaphysics theories and formulas to calculate all these things. It’s much more scientific than people think.

What is the first step in incorporating feng shui into a home?

Make sure your house is bright, clean, and clutter-free. This will encourage energy to flow freely within the home.

What’s your favorite space in your home?

The downstairs living room, definitely. It’s cozy but at the same time, we have many fun decor pieces like a giant computer mouse, the coffee table, and a giant pair of sneakers on the floor. Those are my favorite objects.

What are your favorite local spots?

I love to eat! My two favorite restaurants in town are Khâluna—I love the duck fried rice—and Broders’ Pasta Bar. For shopping, I love MartinPatrick3. Its interior is very inviting.

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